Honda rewrite the record books in the Moto3 (formerly 125cc) class today. The victory achieved by Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Racing Moto3 Honda NSF250RW) was the company’s 206th in the category, another record, and its 17th from this year’s 18 races.
Honda’s NSF250RW machine has so dominated 2017 that Joan Mir (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) made sure of the title in Australia, with two rounds remaining. This was Honda’s 16th Riders World Championship in the category since 1961. And two weeks ago in Malaysia, Honda secured its 17th Constructors World Championship in the class since 1961, yet another record.
Martin’s first Grand Prix victory, at the end of his 50th World Championship race, was hugely popular and richly deserved. The 19-year-old scored his eighth pole position of 2017 yesterday but still had to win his first GP. He fixed that problem today in superb style, leading from the start, then breaking clear of the pack when Gabriel Rodrigo (KTM) crashed just behind him, sending Mir off the track and demoting him to 19th.
By half-distance Martin was five seconds ahead of the chasing pack, which featured a dozen riders, covered by just two seconds. Mir was the star of this battle, fighting his way back into podium contention, then securing second place in the final laps. This incredible result broke the record for the most points scored in one season in the junior class. Mir’s average score was 18.9 points per race!
Marcos Ramirez (KTM) took the final place on the podium, crossing the line 0.117 second behind Mir and 0.076 seconds ahead of Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers Honda NSF250RW), the championship runner-up.
The group from second place to ninth place crossed the finish line covered by 1.458 seconds! Enea Bastianini (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW) completed his season with a strong fifth place. Juanfran Guevara (KTM) was sixth, Dennis Foggia (KTM) seventh, John McPhee (British Talent Team Honda NSF250RW) eighth and three-times 2017 race winner Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW) ninth.
Kazuki Masaki (Asia Talent Team Honda NSF250RW) deserves a special mention for his superb ride to tenth in his debut Grand Prix event. The 17-year-old from Fukuoka usually contests the Moto3 Junior World Championship, so this was his first ride against world-class talent and he proved himself more than up to the task, finishing less than three seconds off the podium!
Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) finished just behind his young compatriot in 11th, to make it eight Hondas in the top 11. Ayumu Sasaki (SIC Racing Team Honda NSF250RW) finished 13th.
Preparations for MotoGP 2018 begin here on Tuesday, with Moto2 and Moto2 starting their offseason tests at Jerez on Wednesday.